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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Writing Essentials, or "How the F**k Do You Write All That?!?"

Greetings, blurkers, bloggers, readers and whomever else comes this way...earlier this week, I was issued an interesting challenge by my fellow writer, Christie Stratos.

Christie is my proofer, and has done excellent work for me on "Parasite Girls" and what MIGHT be my follow-up, "Drifters: Tales of the Southern Cross." More on that later.

So anyway, Christie challenged me to show/tell/explain to you how I write, and what in particular do I have around me when I do so?

Well...first let's see how Christie gets it done:

Okay! There are certainly no hard and fast rules as to how to write, but every writer does have their own little methods, ways, and so forth.

I pretty much write when I want, but when I'm on a writing/editing project, you can find me in certain places. There is no one place for me.

Now, since I don't own a video camera and I'm damned if I know how to use the one on my laptop, I'm going the old-fashioned way. I've taken lots and lots of pictures.

Work tends to make my hours different, so there is no set time you're going to find me at one of these places. I do not particularly like to write at home unless it's at night, and there's reasons for that. Several reasons for that...

First...I was challenged before Neil Young went off on a certain coffee franchise, and now everyone is in a, "WHICH MOTHERFUCKIN' SIDE YOU ON, BITCH?" mode. So you're gonna see pictures of a familiar place. 

As a former girlfriend likes to say: DEAL.

During the day, I'm at one of the places like this one:

This is my standard setup. Generally I will sit at one of the tall chairs, because the tables give me more space to spread my work out.

Note the necessities:

The laptop w/Zombie Snow White gets a lot of compliments and questions. Eye-catching but for that, and not usually what else I need.

My first book, "Parasite Girls" is out for all to see (shameless plug!), along with a flier, and I have business cards...always have business cards, people!

Other items: the ubiquitous jump drive, of which I have several. My entire literary career is on these things; one is stores in a fireproof safe, and I have Dropbox, and who knows how many other backups. Also good to kill off old drives and replace them.

To the right in the 2nd picture is my new external hard drive, a Seagate. Neat little thing, and a gadget I like a lot.


Pertinent to your work! People must see the SCREENSAVER. This is YOU that you are promoting.

Now, there are a few more things one needs; I generally work in public spots in order to have human contact. A necessity; people-watching is quite good, because character details, ideas, sketches, and especially fashions are useful future tools. It is not unusual for me to make mental snapshots of outfits that fit my characters.


Since I don't drink anymore, this is my last drug of choice. Iced is how I usually drink it, but dark roast pourover is also good. Lots of cream, and cinnamon. Caffeine fuels the brain...remember that.


I well remember the days of records (do you?), and typewriters (betcha don't). That album side had to get me through a few pages, and often I'd keep going and not get up to change it.

iTunes is good for something. My tastes run the gamut, and often I'll play the music that is working in tandem with my writing. Or it's whatever's on my computer. My desktop has all my rock, blues, Americana, etc., while the laptop has everything else, plus some duplicate stuff.

I have no set music to work to, whatever I feel like usually.

Now...that's away from the house. At home, I have two spots:

This is the Vibe Room. My office, studio, writer's room. The desk is a cluttered mess, from where I occasionally write, DJ, and do other things. You'll note two of my assistants at the left...more on them later.

Other side of the Vibe Room. Music, plus my altar.

Now since I'm weird about the keyboard that came with my desktop, and since Windows 8 has got a bunch of things that leave a lot to be desired, I don't write much with it. I use the laptop for almost all actual typing, writing and so on. the winter, it's damned cold in this house. So at night I opt for Plan B:

The bed is old but shall also note my assistants. Baldrick is in the foreground of this one, and he usually is close at hand to offer editorial advice. 

Namid also makes herself available to review my notes. Or sleep on them. Her brother Qi is in the background...when he is not offering advice he's usually either sleeping or doing something that causes the bed to feel like it's breaking 10 on the Richter Scale.

Then we have Sofia. This is usually where you will find her, between me and the keyboard.

So I'm certainly not left alone while I work.

Christie had noted she keeps a thesaurus at hand, which is a good idea. 

I keep a severely condensed bookshelf. There were more that I lost some years ago, and I gave away about 250 on Bookcrossing. These are reference materials, inspirations, entertainments, resources and other things.

I also have on my computer a ton of tabs for notes, and also the reference stuff, and -- well worth the cost, let me tell you.

Well, that's a little look into my essentials for writing. But the main thing is, WRITE.

An old painter friend aptly said: the only way to accomplish anything is to DO IT.

Now...I hope in the very near future to have some big news about the next step in my career. I shall know more soon...but in any case, enjoy your writing. This is not a job, this is what you do.

Enjoy, Peace, Out.